Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown

Narendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.

India's prime minister has asked for his country's forgiveness after imposing a sweeping lockdown that he said had hurt millions of poor people.

Criticism has mounted over the lack of planning ahead of the coronavirus shutdown, which was introduced with less than four hours' notice.

Many of India's 1.3 billion citizens have been left jobless and hungry.

Tens of thousands of migrant labourers have been forced to walk hundreds of kilometres to their native villages.

In his weekly radio address PM Narendra Modi apologised for the impact of the strict stay-at-home measures. 

But he said there was "no other way" to stop the rapid spread of the virus.

"Especially when I look at my poor brothers and sisters, I definitely feel that they must be thinking, what kind of prime minister is this who has placed us in this difficulty?

"I especially seek their forgiveness," he said.

"Possibly many would be angry at me for being locked in their homes.

"I understand your troubles but there was no other way to wage war against coronavirus... It is a battle of life and death and we have to win it."

 

People are banned from leaving their homes for three weeks under the "total lockdown" measures announced on Tuesday. All non-essential businesses have been closed and almost all public gatherings are banned.

It has sparked an exodus from major cities such as Delhi, where thousands of migrant workers are setting out on long journeys back to their home villages after transport was stopped.

One worker died on Saturday after he attempted to walk a 168 mile (270km) journey back home, a police officials told Reuters news agency.

India announced a $22bn (£19bn) bailout for the country's poor on Tuesday, including free food and cash handouts, but there are concerns this might not reach those most in need.

In an opinion piece published on Sunday, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo - two of the three winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019 - said even more aid for the poor was needed.

"Without that, the demand crisis will snowball into an economic avalanche, and people will have no choice but to defy orders," they wrote in the Indian Express.

India has reported about 1,000 cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths.

However, experts worry that the real number of infections could be far higher. India has one of the lowest testing rates in the world, although efforts are under way to ramp up capacity.

There are fears that an outbreak in the country - one of the world's most densely populated - could result in a catastrophe.

The country's economy was already in the midst of a severe slowdown before the country went into lockdown. BBC

 
 

Other News

.
Convenience stores become ideal heat shelters for Hanoi young people
Convenience stores become ideal heat shelters for Hanoi young people
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

Convenience stores in Hanoi have become ideal heat shelters for many young people amid the blazing hot weather.

Private nursery schools face teacher shortage
Private nursery schools face teacher shortage
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

Many private nursery schools in HCM City and neighbouring provinces are facing teacher shortage after three-month school closure.

Hanoi large trees left to die as construction stagnates
Hanoi large trees left to die as construction stagnates
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

Over a hundred of large trees along Hanoi's Kim Ma Street which were relocated to a rented garden for the Nhon-Hanoi railway project are being left to die.

Over 1,000 experts coming to Quang Ngai to be quarantined
Over 1,000 experts coming to Quang Ngai to be quarantined
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The central city of Quang Ngai will receive and quarantine over 1,000 foreign specialists coming to work at the Dung Quat Economic Zone and Hoa Phat Steel Company.

Heavy rains forecasted to hit northern, central regions
Heavy rains forecasted to hit northern, central regions
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The northern and northern central regions of Vietnam would face downpours from this evening, May 21, following scorching hot days.

Vietnam to continue testing Covid-19 vaccine on mice
Vietnam to continue testing Covid-19 vaccine on mice
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

Company for Vaccine and Biological Production 1 (VABIOTECH) under the Ministry of Health will conduct a second test of Covid-19 vaccine on mice next month.

Doctors to transfer British pilot to Cho Ray Hospital before lung transplant
Doctors to transfer British pilot to Cho Ray Hospital before lung transplant
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The country's 91st COVID-19 patient, a British pilot, will be transferred to the intensive care centre in HCM City’s Cho Ray Hospital to have a lung transplant when the patient is healthy enough for the procedure.

HCMC Hospitals report increase in heat-related illnesses
HCMC Hospitals report increase in heat-related illnesses
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

HCM City and other localities in the south have recorded temperatures of 38-39 degrees Celsius in recent days, leading to more heat-related illnesses, especially among children and the elderly.

12 suspects involved in BIDV violations to be prosecuted
12 suspects involved in BIDV violations to be prosecuted
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The Supreme People’s Court has decided to prosecute 12 people involved in banking operation violations at the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia May 21
Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia May 21
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

Eight wide-body aircraft transport Vietnamese medical supplies to US

Legal proceedings launched against deadly wall collapse case in Dong Nai
Legal proceedings launched against deadly wall collapse case in Dong Nai
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The police of the southern province of Dong Nai on May 20 decided to start legal proceedings against the deadly wall collapse case at the Giang Dien Industrial Park.

Court upholds sentences for defendants in fake medicine case
Court upholds sentences for defendants in fake medicine case
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The High-level People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City on May 20 upheld the verdict handed down at the first-instance trial in a case involving the “manufacturing and trading of counterfeit medicine”.

Time to let motorbike’s little lights shine?
Time to let motorbike’s little lights shine?
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

A new draft law by the Ministry of Transport is aiming to shed some light on Vietnam's traffic problem.

Learning pressure is the biggest concern for children: survey
Learning pressure is the biggest concern for children: survey
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

A recent survey has found that learning pressure is the biggest challenge children face while staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Da Nang authorities asks for changes to building facades
Da Nang authorities asks for changes to building facades
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The People’s Committee of Da Nang has asked the two investors behind high-rise projects to change the glass used on the façade of the buildings by the end of this month.

In Vietnam, snake bites a risk in summer
In Vietnam, snake bites a risk in summer
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

As summer arrives, so does an increase in the number of people bitten by venomous snakes.

Lychee farmers enjoy early harvest
Lychee farmers enjoy early harvest
PHOTOSicon  20/05/2020 

In the recent years, local farmers in Thanh Ha district, Hai Duong province have expanded areas growing early ripen lychees with better yield.

Charming white lotus flowers spotted in bloom on outskirts of Hanoi
Charming white lotus flowers spotted in bloom on outskirts of Hanoi
PHOTOSicon  20/05/2020 

With pristine white lotus flowers starting to enter full bloom in a thousand-square-metre pond located in Tam Hung commune of Hanoi’s outlying Thanh Oai district, 

Streets around Hanoi enjoy sight of blossoming lotus flowers
Streets around Hanoi enjoy sight of blossoming lotus flowers
PHOTOSicon  21/05/2020 

With beautiful lotuses serving to brighten up streets throughout Hanoi, many of the blossoming flowers can be seen being carried by street vendors in bicycles as they sell them at the start of summer, the traditional lotus flower season.

Mekong Delta healthcare system growing rapidly, eases pressure on HCM City hospitals
Mekong Delta healthcare system growing rapidly, eases pressure on HCM City hospitals
SOCIETYicon  21/05/2020 

The healthcare system in the Mekong Delta has been steadily expanding and becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the large number of choices available now is helping reduce overcrowding at HCM City hospitals.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN